Traffic statistics help to provide insight for individual motorists and those tasked with protecting public safety, like lawmakers and police departments. The information that law enforcement officers and regulatory officials gather related to car crashes can help drive new policies, inform road or vehicle design and influence personal behavior.
Some of the most dangerous events on the road involve semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles. Motorists who are familiar with the statistics about such collisions may be in a better position to make safety-conscious choices for their own protection in traffic. The following two statistics might help prompt better decisions on the part of those who find that they’re traveling close to commercial trucks in traffic.
Commercial drivers are often at fault for wrecks
Many people automatically assume that commercial crashes are often a fault of those in smaller vehicles. After all, it takes less training to get a basic driver’s license than it does to secure a commercial driver’s license (CDL). However, analysis of commercial crash data reveals that in many cases, the bigger vehicle is the one to blame for a wreck. In 55% of collisions involving semi-trucks, it will be the large commercial vehicles, not these smaller passenger vehicles, that are ultimately to blame for the collision.
People in smaller vehicles assume most of the risk
Commercial collisions often seem very unfair in part because the majority of risk falls to the people in the smaller vehicles who may not have caused the crash. According to the analysis of commercial crashes performed by the National Safety Council, truck occupants only make up 17% of the fatalities reported in crashes involving commercial vehicles. The occupants of the commercial truck are much less likely to die or to suffer life-altering physical injuries than the people in smaller vehicles. That disproportionate distribution of risk is undoubtedly one of the reasons why commercial vehicles have much higher insurance requirements than most passenger vehicles.
Those injured in a commercial crash or grieving after the death of a loved one may find that these statistics give them more confidence or certainty about their decision to pursue compensation. Learning more about the aftermath of truck collisions may inspire people to demand justice from the civil courts when others cause them harm.